Central Park Zoo

Big Cats Come Out to Play at Central Park Zoo

1 snow leopard

Exciting news: two healthy Snow Leopard cubs, an endangered species, were born at Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Central Park Zoo in New York City over the summer. The two cubs, a male and a female, made their debut on November 4. These are the first Snow Leopard cubs ever born at Central Park Zoo and the second Snow Leopard birth at a WCS zoo this year. 

Both cubs weigh about 30 pounds (13.6 kg) but are expected to reach between 65-120 pounds (30-55 kg). When visitors will be able to see the yet-unnamed cubs will vary daily until the cats fully acclimate to their new habitat. They are are busy getting used to the new surroundings, sights and smells. (They certainly do look happy about new rock-climbing opportunities!)

2 snow leopardPhoto credits: Julie Larsen Maher / Wildlife Conservation Society's Central Park Zoo

The litter is the result of the successful pairing of Zoe, the mother (7), with Askai (6), a male sent to the Central Park Zoo from the Bronx Zoo. Both adults are first-time parents. The Central Park and Bronx Zoo Snow Leopards are a part of the Species Survival Plan – a cooperative breeding program administered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) designed to enhance the genetic diversity and demographic stability of animal populations in AZA-accredited zoos.

Snow Leopards are among the world’s most endangered big cats with an estimated 3,500-6,500 remaining in the wild. Their range is limited to remote mountains of Central Asia and parts of China, Mongolia, Russia, India and Bhutan. WCS has worked for decades on Snow Leopard conservation programs in the field with current projects in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and western China. 

Lamb Born at Central Park Zoo Signals the End of Winter

Lamb CU crop

March went in and out like a lamb this year – represented by this new Babydoll Lamb at the Central Park Zoo’s Tisch Children’s Zoo. Born on March 1 to mom Turnip and dad Sid, the arrival of the lamb, named Kiwi, is a sure sign that spring is upon us.

Besides being easy on the eyes, these teddy bear-faced sheep are intelligent, quite docile and tame easily. The gentle creatures measure less than 24" tall from the shoulder once fully grown, and as adults, weigh 70 to 150 pounds. They make good weeders and lawn mowers, as they graze all through the day on grasses. 

As senior keeper Rob Gramzay has noticed, Kiwi is getting bigger and bigger by the day. She was only about 7 pounds (3.18 kilos) when she was born -- but now she's an armful! 

Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher

The Real Chicks of Central Park


The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo is letting visitors see how eight penguin chicks have been hand-raised on a new blog called The Real Chicks of Central Park.

The blog includes photos (chick pics), videos (chick flicks), and keeper interviews (chick lit) and updated continually for three weeks. Visitors can meet the chicks and their keepers, watch them grow, and see the painstaking care that goes into raising them. 

“We wanted to show people what goes into hand rearing the penguin chicks from day one and share the growth process,” said Jeff Sailer, Director of City Zoos. “These new additions to the penguin colony are a success in animal husbandry and reflect the bird expertise we have at the Central Park Zoo.” 



With a $10 donation to the care of the penguin chicks a “chick magnet” will be sent to the recipient of your choice just in time for the holidays. The magnet features a frame with a picture of one of “the real chicks,” and a space where you can put a picture of your very own chick magnet. Proceeds support the care of theses beautiful penguins and other wildlife residents of WCS’s Central Park Zoo.

Continue reading "The Real Chicks of Central Park" »

Meet the New Kids on the Block


The Tisch Children’s Zoo at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo has some new additions: four baby Mini-Nubian Goats. The four youngsters, which include a set of twins, were born in late February and early March. They can be seen playing in their exhibit where they climb and leap off of any surface available. Visitors can pet the babies and their mothers in the Tisch Children’s Zoo along with other domestic animals such as sheep, alpacas, and Othello – the only cow in Manhattan.



Photo credits: Julie Larsen Maher © Wildlife Conservation Society

Feisty Mongoose Pups Pop into Central Park

The Wildlife Conservation Society's Central Park Zoo welcomed four Banded Mongoose pups this month and they have just been moved to the Tropic Zone where the public can enjoy their playful antics. The rambunctious babies' rough-housing mimics the boldness adult mongooses are famous for. Banded Mongooses live in groups of up to 70 individuals and multiple females will often give birth to their litters on the exact same day. 

Banded Mongoose Pups at the Central Park Zoo 2

Banded Mongoose Pups at the Central Park Zoo 2Photo credits: Julie Larsen Maher / Wildlife Conservation Society